Trump not doing enough to thwart Russian 2020 meddling, experts say

Despite fears that Moscow may seek to influence the 2020 elections by launching cyber attacks, social media disinformation, covert agent operations and other “active measures” as it did in the 2016 election, adequate funding and White House focus to counter any new Russian meddling are lagging, experts and officials say.

Election security concerns that critics say require more resources and attention include: a paper ballot system to replace or backup electronic voting machines vulnerable to hacking; more resources and attention for cybersecurity programs at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); a requirement that campaigns report to the FBI any contacts with foreign nationals; and a strong public commitment from the president to an interference-free election.

Federal efforts to beef up election security, critics say, have been undercut by Trump’s apparent willingness to accept Russian president Vladimir Putin’s word that the country did not interfere in 2016, and Trump’s slighting of intelligence community conclusions about Russian meddling.

“Russia would be remiss not to try again, given how successful they were in 2016,” said Steven Hall, a retired chief of the CIA’s Russian operations.

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